Thursday, September 3, 2015

Working on “Pigpen” and Getting Ready to Travel.


I’m back!
Let’s see, the last time I talked to you I was just finishing up the new inverter installation.

A great little cooler:

I have a small propane/electric chest type cooler that you may have seen in other pictures.


I use it at the cabin some times and in the van when we used to travel in the van. When running on 120VAC the fridge only draws about .7 amps or 84 watts. That means it can run on electricity most of the time or when ever I am traveling and on propane when camped for a long period. This little box will even keep things frozen for a long time.

A long story:

A long time ago when I built the front bumper for the van I, incorporated a tow bar for    emergency rescue. In case of break downs in the bush anyone with a tow hitch can pull Pigpen back to civilization safely.

When we started RV’ing I was going to tow Pigpen but a number of factors changed my mind.
At the time we had a 1984 4Runner so I built a mount on it so I could use the tow bar that was on the van, on the 4Runner.
When not being towed, I had it set up so I could lift the front of the tow bar up and hold it there with a long bolt and a big wing nut.
When the tow bar was up it was kind of like having a gun-sight on the front of the car.

One day back in ‘08, Patti and I were heading east on Middle March Rd, just north of Tombstone, Arizona, in our intrepid little 4Runner. We were heading for Cochise’s Stronghold, an area of large boulders where it is said that the Apache Chief Cochise surrendered to the army.
Middle March Road is a wide ‘occasionally’ graded dirt road, ‘occasionally’ it can be a bit washboardy and this day was one of the washboardy occasions.
Patti and I were cruising along at around 35mph, maybe a little faster. Just a-skimmin across those washboards.
At a particularly rough patch just before a cattle guard the gun-sight disappeared!
Yes, the wing-nut vibrated loose and the tow-bar fell and dug into the earth.  There was a terrible noise and the front of the 4Runner got air as we pole-vaulted  over the
cattle-guard using the tow bar for the pole.
When we stopped bouncing, we got out to inspect the damage. The tow bar was still connected and didn’t look to bad off and nothing else under the car looked damaged. I was able to pull the pins and get the tow bar off. The tow bar was a little tweaked but it was still serviceable and we used it for another year. I threw the tow bar in the back of the 4Runner and we continued the drive.

Where is this all going? you might ask. Well, that old tow bar has been sitting around in my backyard since I made a new one for the Jeep. I decided to resurrect the old tow bar and put it back on Pigpen where it started. Fortunately I just recently got an
oxy-acetylene setup so it was easy to heat and straighten the old tow bar so it will work better.

I ended up mounting the tow bar backwards because the top point of the handle was wanting to dig into the spare tire. Since the tow bar is just for emergency use, it will be no problem to flip over when In need to use it.


The tow bar also might turn out to be a good deer catcher. I hope I never find out.
You may notice that, now I have a strong chain with a lock on it holding the tow bar up.

Getting ready to travel:

Bob and I are going to take a trip to northeastern Nevada for about 12 days. We are each taking our own vans so this should be fun and it is good having two vans for safety. We can go where ever we want and camp where ever we want (within legal limits). It’ll be a little like traveling through the land on a horse, without the saddle sores, flies and manure.
Pigpen is in pretty good shape so now I just have to start gathering what I’ll need to take along. I’m sure the list will be long.

Getting ready for winter:

We got the RV out of storage and took it to get it serviced on Tuesday. That’s the first step in getting ready for our winter adventure.

Okay, I guess I’ve wasted enough of your time.


I’ll talk to you later.  

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